July cometh

Wow, summer is really 1/3 over already? So far the last few months I’ve been so consumed with ways to save money and building a dividend portfolio. I’ve been spending countless hours researching dividend paying stocks as well as reading a lot of books and putting money away. It’s been so fun seeing the growth in my portfolio in such a short amount of time. It’s hard to believe that in 4.5 years I’ve gone from being in debt to having a solid net worth and such good momentum. I feel much wiser and more patient but still have so much to learn, yet have learnt so much from past mistakes. I feel that we’ve had such a strong market over the last 9 years that soon we will have a major correction so I keep that in mind an plan for that.

Seneca had been an absolute joy to be around, she is so fun to play with and I spend as much time as I can with her. She is trying to talk a lot and it’s so fun hearing her babble all the time. She says new words and it’s hard to keep up with them. I took her to the zoo yesterday and she was so excited to see the ‘big birds’ and elephants and giraffe. She loves to wrestle with me, she makes cute growling sounds, she loves water and chasing bubbles. She sleeps well at night and is the best baby I can imagine. I try to savor every second with her knowing just how fast time goes by.

Other recent things include trying to adopt Liam and sever parental rights. We also celebrated our 5th year anniversary and had a beautiful party on our patio. I’ve been riding quite a bit but no racing so I can save money. This week I have my sister coming to stay with us for the 4th of July. Work has been a fight but I love my job and my team, I find it engaging and have a better attitude than last year when I was struggling.

Seneca at 18 Months

A couple weeks ago, Seneca reached 18 months. She’s still very petite at 19 pounds 4 oz and 30.5 inches tall. She still fits in some of her 6 and 9 month clothes from last summer and loves to swing in her baby swing. Her vocabulary is light, but she communicates well using signs and she’s becoming more vocal every day. She loves swimming, going for walks, playing in dirt, smelling flowers, shoes, lotion, Moana, Frozen, Meow Meow, and her family. She loves to eat avocados, spinach, eggs, plain yogurt, fish, pineapple, strawberries, and sweet pea snacks. Her eyes are gray-green, she has 12 teeth, and she’s a great sleeper.

It’s been 5 months now that I’ve put her to bed every night and it’s my favorite part of the day. I get to savor every second she is in my arms and she goes down without a fuss. Sadly, we’ve gotten to the point where I need to wean her off theĀ  bottle so instead of letting her lay in my arms with a bottle then a binkie, we watch Moana or Frozen for a few songs and then I gently lay her down and play with her for a few minutes then let her go to sleep. She has the most amazing personality that I just love. Her newest words are ‘buh…buh…buh…” when she says bubble or ball, and she likes to say ‘baby’.

April 2018

I’ve been getting back into my interest in investing and reading lots of books as well as putting money away in dividend paying stocks. I’ve been having fun building spreadsheets and calculations for retirement as well as researching stocks. I haven’t felt as strong on the bike as I have in the past so I’ve been spending more time doing other things like Jiu Jitsu and working on home projects.

Liam is getting so smart, he is drawing and spelling things, he makes cute pictures for us as a family. Work has been a bit of a slump but I’ve been in a good mindset and having a positive attitude. I feel good about the challenges ahead and the growth that will come.

Our trip to Maui

Well I have been so excited for this trip for such a long time, we’ve been doing a ton of planning and that has only made it more exciting. We’re finally here and I’m going to write a breakdown of each day here in Paradise.

Saturday March 10 – flight leaves at 4:50, delayed by a half hour, bumpy flight most of the way. Got in about 10:30 and made it to the hotel by 11:30.

Sunday March 11- got up early and had breakfast, then drove out to shop for food, and pick up my bike in Lahaina. I had a mostly pleasant ride down the coast, it was windy but a perfect temperature. A little exhausted from the day before but took a quick nap and then went to the pool with the kids where we got very cold quickly. We showered and got warm then went and walked along Wailea beaches then had dinner at a place near the hotel. Kids were wiped out so we came home and crashed out.

March 12- we were up early and put in the car by 7:45 for the long drive to Hana. The journey took us 9 hours total but was well worth it. It was raining like crazy but there were breaks in the rain that allowed us to check things out. We were able to check out a gorgeous black sand beach and a red sand beach by Hana. The red sand beach was much more remote to get to and the path was a bit treacherous so it made me really nervous with the kids. It was well worth the drive and the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen.

On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat and saw one more waterfall. We got back to the hotel at 5pm then got cleaned up and had a bite to eat at a fresh grill in Kihei.

The kids were great during the ride and slept for most of the way. Seneca is so absolutely cute, she gets so excited when she sees the water and the pool. She flaps her arms and screams with excitement. Everywhere we go she smiles and waves at people and they say she is so cute.

One last thing, the Halfway to Hana shack has the best fresh baked banana bread I’ve ever tasted, I ate a whole loaf!

Tuesday March 13- today was the day where I knocked riding Haleakala off my bucket list. I was really worried about the rain because it came down so hard the day before but luckily it wasn’t bad. I rode to Kihei to pick up Chad around 9am then we stopped at the beach to get a photo. The first 18 miles were flat and windy then we started the 36 mile climb with a bad head wind. After about 25 miles things got a lot better, more humid but no wind or rain. As the miles went on my legs started to suffer, my back started to ache and I got a bad headache. After 6000 feet things got really tough at an exponential rate. Chad was losing a lot of water and started to cramp up, eventually so bad that he had to stop a few miles from the top. Luckily I was able to make it but it was super painful and very cold at the top. I had Angie waiting for me and had her drive me back since it was so wet and unsafe at the top. Glad to have that done with. I came back and had a hot shower then went to dinner with Angie and the kids.

Wednesday March 14th- today was mostly laundry and transferring from one hotel to another. I rode my bike from Wailea to Kapalua, it was a pleasant but humid ride up the coast. We checked into the Ritz Carlton then went swimming for a bit, then are dinner with Sharrell and Jaron, had a few drinks then went to bed.

Thursday March 15 – today may have been my favorite day of the trip so far. It started out with an awesome ride over the North Shore of Maui where the roads were absolutely beautiful and there were relatively few cars on the road. The humidity was so high that my hands slipped off the handlebars and I crashed pretty hard taking a huge gash out of my leg. I was able to get a ride back from a motorist thankfully because the front wheel was bent.

I got back and patched myself up and went to the CHG welcoming brunch which was beautiful and amazing. After that I took the bike back and we went to the pool for a bit. We then went to the Westin hotel for a wonderful Luau which I enjoyed a lit more than I expected I would. The food was great and so was the entertainment, Liam loved the fire dancers. My favorite part was holding my baby girl and slow dancing with her. My heart was filled with such joy.

Friday March 16 – we got up kind of early then went on a whale watching tour from Lahaina. We were able to see quite a few humpback whales from afar but there was one that came up right next to the boat and surfaced then went underneath, it was absolutely amazing and beautiful. We also saw a calf playing and jumping out of the water and landing on her back. Poor little Seneca got sea sick and threw up twice. When we got back to shore we ate at a wonderful place called Paia Fish Market, the food was awesome. Went back to the hotel and rested for a bit then went swimming and back to Lahaina for dinner.

March 2018

Oh these last few months with Seneca have been so amazing. I love spending as much time as I can with her as she grows. She loves to entertain and make us laugh. She loves to make funny faces and raspberries. She is learning new words all the time. Today she said shoes, ear, eyes and coat. She puts her hand up to her ear when she says hi, like she is holding a cell phone. I spend every night putting her to bed and savor each second of being with her.

Work has been good lately and I’ve had some consistent results but not as high as in the past. I have really learnt from our recession last year and gotten better, and we have a great team now. I’ve been really focused on putting away money for retirement and studying dividend stocks. As for fitness, I’ve lost a decent amount after being sick and still working my way back, which is taking a long time. I hit a true FTP of 321 watts in an hour the first week of Jan and two months later I’m not even close.

We leave to Hawaii in 2 days!!!

Seneca goes from infant to toddler so quickly

These last few months we watched Seneca transition from baby to toddler. From crawling and climbing to walking and running. She’s almost 16 months and she’s an excellent communicator. She has a few words: Mama, Dada, Hi, Meow Meow (Wowse our cat), and Milk. She also says “Ffff” for fish and “Shhh” for shoes. She knows about 40+ signs and she can communicate her wants and needs (she’ll even sign the weather outside). Her favorite toys are dolls (and anything of Liam’s). She loves avocados, eggs, raspberries, and sweet potatoes – everything else is fun to throw. She loves to dance any time she hears music. She’s an excellent napper and goes to bed without a fuss – she usually tells us when she’s sleepy. She’s learning how to swim and loves to play in the water. She’s a petite little thing weighing in at 18 1/2 pounds and 29 1/2 inches. Her eyes have settled in a beautiful shade of gray, changing to blue if she wears blue, and green if she wears green. We all love her so much.

 

Seneca’s Firsts

I’ll try to keep a running list of first words and milestones, I should have started this earlier but oh well.

  • Late October 2017 – 1 year’s old, starts to stand up for the first time, pops up around her birthday and then starts standing a lot better. Says ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, ‘baba’ and ‘be-be’ for Binkie.
  • December 2017 – starts taking her first steps in Mid December. By January she is walking and by the end of Jan she is speed walking.
  • Jan 2018 – she is getting good with her sign language and can say a lot of things. She pats her leg for dog. She says ‘meow, meow’. She says fffff for Fish at the Aquarium.
  • Feb 1, 2018 – she holds her cell phone up and pretends she is calling me and says ‘hi dada’. She loves baths and pats her tummy when she wants one.
  • March 7, 2018, says ‘shoes’, ‘eyes’,
  • March 11 while on our trip to Maui she starts nodding ‘yes’, so cute! She is starting to say Fish all the way through. She signs Bird by pointing to the top of her head. Today at the pool in Maui she chased some birds around while pointing at her head.
  • Aughfff is Avocado. Booah is Bird. This month she is eating so much. It’s getting nice outside so we go for walks every night and she sings. She loves Frozen and Moana, she is a good climber and gets up and down the stairs easily. April 23, 2018
  • May 17 – she’s saying more and more all the time. This week she said Fairy, more, door (singing along to the Frozen song, Love is an open door), me.

Happy Moments in January 2018

The holidays have been absolutely amazing and I had so much time to spend with my family. It was great taking 10 days off, the only other time I had done that was while I was on paternity leave. I did fun things with my family every day and got in to the habit of putting my baby girl to sleep every single night, and now it has been 2 months since I have done that. I will put her in my arms and rock her to sleep while she drinks a bottle, then pop a binkie in her mouth and let her fall asleep. I savor every moment and make sure i am so present, I think about how thankful I am for these moments and savor them.

Angie got me an amazing present for Christmas, daddy-daughter swim lessons. I did my first one in the last week in January and although I was sick as a dog, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was such an amazing experience and was one of the happiest moments I have had. What a wonderful bonding moment with my daughter, she was so happy and stared into my eyes with the biggest smile and her twinkling eyes. I told one of my co-workers how amazing it was and she said that it was too bad she is too young to remember, but I disagree, I think these moments build that bond stronger between us. We take them into the pool and sing songs while we teach them swimming motions such as kicking, floating and paddling.

Liam has been an amazing big brother and loves to play with his little sister and teach her things. I have a hard time getting him to bed because he just loves being awake so much, as I write this he is laying in his bed and singing songs. I am so happy that I have these two children in my house and it is so fun to hear them talking and babbling with their cute little voices. I love my time with them and never want to be too busy for them. I love being a father and teaching them, but also having fun with them and making them laugh. I love holding Seneca and chasing Liam with him in my arms, this makes them both laugh and scream with excitement.

Work has been great, after a tough year I feel like I am back in action and our full team is firing. The mood is much better and we are off to a great start to the year. I am so thankful for my company and the amazing things that it gives to me and my family. I am so thankful for the Presidents Club trips that allow my family to have amazing experiences. I love that it allows my wife to be a stay at home mother and spend time with my baby. I love the challenges that make me a better person, and the relationships that my job gives me. I love being so close to work, and the home that I was able to purchase. I am excited to leave to Maui in a month from now and am having a blast getting prepared. I plan on riding my bike up Haleakala which is a bucket list item.

Fitness has been great up until getting sick 3 weeks ago. I had some high 1 hour threshold power numbers leading up to that and probably lost some fitness, but hopefully I can get on track soon.

Holidays 2017

I had an amazing holiday season this year and was able to take off a lot of time to be with my family. I had a total of 11 days off which was the most I’ve had off since my paternity leave and it was so great to have that time with my family. Angie had a lot planned so we were active with parties and visits from friends. We had a birthday party for Liam at Jungle Jim’s during the middle of the week. Liam was excited about the toys he got including a video game system I got that replicated a Nintendo system. I got him some Nerf guns and lightsabers for us to play with.

I absolutely loved the time I have with my baby girl, she was so fun to hangout with and I took care of her and put her to bed every single day. I spent lots of time playing with the kids. I also spent a lot of time working out and did plenty of long rides to get me fit for the new year. I tried my best to not think about work.

Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

It was a pleasant 4 day weekend for me to hang out with my wonderful family. On Thursday we had my father and mother as well as my Aunt Diana and Uncle Ted over. The weather was absolutely beautiful and warm, I also was able to get a lot accomplished and build some shelves in my basement as well as my garage, it was a very fun project and helped with organization. Angie and Diana made such a great Thanksgiving dinner and had plenty of leftovers.

On Sunday, we took the kids to the Zoo, it was the first time that Liam remembers going to one, and the first time for Seneca. Both kids absolutely loved it and the weather was again, perfect.

Seneca has been learning so many new things. She recognizes so many words and phrases, some of them include: Stand up! Shake your butt! Dance! She is also learning to walk but also doing her cute little butt scoot. She points to things, she also is extremely daring and loves to climb up on things.